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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Mixed Bag

Early this morning, I watched a glorious spectacle that has not been seen in the UK for almost 400 years ....... a total lunar eclipse taking place on the winter solstice!

I am devasted however, at my total lack of success at photographing this historic event. For example, this is what happens when you accidentally move the camera during a long exposure.


Moving on ....

As I was watching the eclipse, the outside temperature was hovering around the -12C mark and it never really got much warmer than that all day. My poor buddleia looks just about as fed up with this snow, as I am.


Finally for today, here is my seasonal tree, decorated for Christmas!


xxx

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Day 12

is the final day of:



For this final day, we had to draw with a torch! Great fun, but in my case, not very stylish or successful! But - I had a giggle and that's what it's all about after all! :-)
First, I drew a tree and no matter how I tried, I could not get the star to sit perfectly on top! The red streaks are supposed to be garlands! lolol



Finally, I would like to say a big "Thank You" to CJ for running this hugely enjoyable course! I've loved every one of the assignments, I had fun and I have learned so much in only 12 days! :-)



Roll on the next course!!

xxx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Day 11



The penultimate day of this course already - and for this assignment, we had to take a photograph with a reflection.

This quartz heart was taken with a cloudy sky reflected in the mirror. My biggest problem with this one, was trying to hide the blob of BluTac that was holding it up!


For my second attempt, I tried incorporating some other techniques we have learned on this course ..... namely photographing a candle and also using a tea strainer to get a starburst effect. Neither technique has worked particularly well in this shot, but I shall keep trying! :-)



xxx

Friday, 10 December 2010

Days 9 & 10



Day 9 was all about trying to capture candlelight. I'm pretty pleased with how these have turned out!



Today was Day 10 and our assignment was to make creative use of focus, by taking two photographs of the same scene, but with different points of focus.



I can't believe there are only two more days to go on this course. :-(

xxx

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Days 6, 7 & 8



My attempts for days, 6, 7 and 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas!

Day 6 was meant to make us think more about composition and technique to try to take some better pics of the ritual of present opening! Luckily, my polar bear was a willing model!


Day 7 taught us how to take 'Bokeh' in our shots - maing points of light look like dazzling discs.


Day 8 - and we had to make a Triptych. Once again, my countdown bear was my model!



xxx

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Days 2, 3 and 4



For Day 2, we had to spell out something that said "Christmas" to us. Nothing makes me feel as Christmassy as "It's a Wonderful Life" with the fabulous James Stewart, so I chose to write out Zuzu's Petals .... using Prima petals! The idea was good, but in practice ....... well, I just HATE this shot.




Day 3 was all about attempting to take a photo of lights in twilight or similar. As an added bounus, CJ told us how to achieve a starburst effect without a special filter. All you need to do is take your shot while putting your lens in a sieve or a tea strainer! This was me using a tea strainer and some blue LED lights!
I am definitely going to be trying to use this technique when the Christmas tree goes up!



Today, we had to take an outdoor shot. I actually took this yesterday and am very pleased with it!


I am really enjoying this course and hopefully will learn even more over the next 8 days!

xxx

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Night Sky

My first attempt at taking a night sky scene. Not great, but ok for a newbie!
(Click pic for a slightly bigger view)


Pity I missed the top of Orion!

xxx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Freezing Fog!

A huge bank of this very strange stuff came rolling in yesterday. I tried to take a decent photograph of it, but it isn't easy!

Looking along the road, facing north east.


My sister and brother-in-law's turbine. I think this one captures the fog best.


We have had yet more snow today and there is still no sign of a thaw yet!

12 Days of Christmas!


I signed up to do this free photography course with Cheryl Johnson - and was lucky enough to secure a place before they were all taken!

Our first lesson is White Balance. We have to take a series of shots indoors and outdoors, using the various WB settings on our cameras.

These are my indoor shots, all taken in natural light, with no flash:
Click for a bigger view!

It's dark outside now, so my outdoor ones will have to wait till tomorrow, but what a difference the WB settings make, don't they?

xxx

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Yet more snow ........

A selection of photographs taken from the front doorstep around a couple of hours ago.



Most of the snow slid off this bench, but it has started to build again now!









Even since these were taken, the snow is still falling heavily.

xxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Orange!

Still, the snow is falling.


Last night, it was falling as heavily as I've seen it for quite a few years. But eerily, everything seemed to be bathed in a strange orange glow .......
It isn't street lights, because I don't live in town. This was taken at around 01.00, with the camera sitting on a stool by the open front door, set with a 2second exposure. It really has captured what it was like!


By the back door, you can see how much snow had fallen by looking at the wheelie bin! Once again, you can see the orange glow in the sky.


This morning at 11.00am, this was the view through the patio door!



It really is beautiful, but I want it gone!

xxx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Winter has Arrived!

It's not even December yet and we have snow. I think almost the whole country has had some during the past few days!

I took these this morning, from my front doorstep.

The telephoto lens has foreshortened this scene dramtically. The big white sign is actually much further away than it looks here! The sky was sooooo grey when I took this.


Cotoneaster.



Cotoneaster again, with frozen droplets of water on the leaves.



A few blades of grass poking up through the snow.



One end of the patio wall.


I think the snow is very pretty, but I hate the problems it causes. I was supposed to be taking Jodie and Grahame to a studio lighting course in Elgin tomorrow (Jodie modelling, Grahame and I just two of eight photogrpahers who were going to be photographic her), but I have had to pull out because the road conditions are just too treacherous! I'm gutted that I had do it and I feel awful for letting Jodie down, but it would have been foolhardy of me to even try to get there.

Roll on spring.

xxx

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night!

I've been a bad blogger again and missed a couple of weeks. Ooops!

Hallowe'en is a big deal for my family and friends. The kids enjoy it, but we adults have an even better time and always spend a lot of time and effort into making our costumes!

We party at Jodie's house .......



My girls take their good looks from me, obviously!


The cute werewolf had no idea that Nosferatu was behind him!


Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett were there .....


amongst many others!




Then we make our way through the streets .....



.....to our local pub.


Karaoke cuties!


Aaaah, such fun!!

Roll on next year!! :-)



Last night was Guy Fawkes night and we had our annual bonfire in my paddock, with all the family in attendance! We had a wonderful fun-filled evening of fireworks, food and drinkies and it was FABULOUS!!

Unfortunately, only one of my pics was any good and it was this one!

This is the guy that Kerry, Simon and the kids made to sit on top of the bonfire. He was very happy looking, considering he was just about to go out in blaze of glory!

xxx